The smaller Leonte Carroo gets, the bigger he plays.
Carroo has dropped nine pounds from the bloated 221 that he weighed in 2016, and hopes to shed four more.
Less has certainly been more in his second training camp.
After a lost rookie season — he couldn’t even make the game-day roster late in the year — Carroo re-dedicated himself to his craft. And it shows.
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He had several catches Sunday, including one in which he out-muscled Michael Thomas across the middle. He also had an apparent touchdown wiped away by a questionable officiating call. (Full disclosure: Carroo did fumble after one of his catches Sunday.)
“That’s what I’m known for, just having strong hands and competing,” Carroo said. “Mike [Thomas] and I were battling for the ball and I was just going to come down with it.”
Carroo, asked again about his weight issues as a rookie, was remarkably candid about how it hindered his play.
“Last year during training camp I couldn’t do two plays without breathing heavy and dying,” Carroo said. “This year, I’m able to run four, five or six plays without feeling as tired. I just have to go out there and continue to take each day by day and continue to grind.”
With Rashawn Scott sidelined indefinitely with a foot injury, Carroo has no one standing between him and the Dolphins’ No. 4 receiving job. He just needs to snatch it like he did all of those footballs Sunday.
The Dolphins did sign undrafted receiver Jordan Westerkamp, who played his college ball on Nebraska, on Sunday. He takes the roster spot of linebacker Lamin Barrow, who was waived/injured.
Drops return for Grant
Jakeem Grant dropped two returns during Sunday’s practice, raising old questions about his hands after he misplayed five punts or kicks as a rookie.
But Dolphins coach Adam Gase insisted that “my confidence level in [Grant] is extremely high.”
When asked how Grant should handle bad days like Sunday, Gase responded:
“To learn from when he puts the ball on the ground and do everything he can not to let it happen it again and not get hung up on a dropped punt. If you sit there and dwell over it -- 'Oh I can't believe it' -- move on to the next one. Learn from it. That's why we're doing this. He's not the first guy to ever drop a punt.”
Gase continued: “The thing, like last year, he had one in a game and the defense picked us up. We had a pick two plays later. That's what your teammates are for. If somebody has a mistake, somebody else picks him up. My biggest thing with him is to move onto the next one. He's effective for us. We know he can hit the home run. We just need him to keep working on being consistent.
▪ Xavien Howard said this about DeVante Parker Sunday: “I love competing against DeVante. I feel like he can the best receiver in this league and I want to go against the best every day.”
The comes a day after Byron Maxwell called himself the best corner in the league and Lawrence Timmons called Ndamukong Suh the best defensive tackle ever.
Miami Herald sports writer Armando Salguero contributed to this report.